SBD/June 9, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Stephen Jones Among Execs On Committee Deciding Host Site For '15 NFL Draft

Jones and the rest of the committee will meet this week for the first time
Cowboys COO & Exec VP Stephen Jones is "part of the working group that has been assembled" by the NFL to "explore the possibility of staging future drafts in cities around the league," according to sources cited by David Moore of the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. More than a dozen cities have "expressed an interest" in hosting the '15 Draft, and officials from teams in several of those cities "have also been named to the working group." The group is "scheduled to meet for the first time" this week and "study the options in more detail" (DALLASNEWS.com, 6/6). In N.Y., Gary Myers reported although another venue in N.Y. "has not been ruled out" for '15, the "consensus is that the next draft will not be in the city where’s it’s been" since '65. MSG is "not a possibility because of potential basketball and hockey conflicts and the league is not considering inquiries from the Barclays Center or the Prudential Center because of potential conflicts with Nets playoff games in Brooklyn and Devils playoff games in Newark." Fourteen cities have "expressed interest in hosting next year’s draft, but the league is focusing on the three largest" -- N.Y., Chicago and L.A. -- and "has asked them for information to be submitted by mid-June." The NFL is "expected to make a decision on a city and venue later this summer" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/7). The AP's Barry Wilner noted although N.Y., L.A. and Chicago were invited last week to "make presentations" for the '15 Draft, the league "stresses that no finalists have been selected and many other cities are in the running" (AP, 6/6). In Nashville, John Glennon noted the city is "one of several sites getting some consideration." The city "isn't considered a front-runner at this point for 2015, but representatives are very interested in bringing a future draft here if it doesn't return" to N.Y. after '15. Titans Exec VP/Administration & Facilities Don MacLachlan and Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. President & CEO Butch Spyridon said that they "made their intent clear to the NFL over the last several years" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 6/7).

FINDING THE BEST FIT
: THE MMQB's Peter King writes one that that could "discourage the NFL" from putting next year's draft at AT&T Stadium is "how empty the place would seem for the rounds after the first." King: "I believe the Cowboys could put on a great show for round one. Maybe 50,000 fans, and some good electricity." But the "problem with any venue is what happens when the picks are guys the fans have never heard of." Whoever holds the event will "have to be sure it can account for the significantly smaller crowds on days two and three by sectioning off the draft room with curtains or whatever." King: "That's why, as one league operative told me recently, a venue like McCormick Place south of Soldier Field is so attractive." It is the "kind of convention center location that can contract and expand depending on the number of people on hand." Even if AT&T Stadium "puts up barriers, it’s likely still going to look cavernous" (MMQB.SI.com, 6/9).
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